January 2002

The World Bank
AFTU 1 & 2


1.1 The Country
1.2 Urbanization
1.3 Problems
2.1 Housing Characteristics and Location
2.2 Profile of Low Income Community Residents
3.1 Policy Context
3.2 Institutional Framework
4.1 Summary of Policy
4.2 Overview of Initiatives
4.3 Land and Legal Aspects
Third Urban Environment Project (PACVU)
Annex A: Country and City Profiles
Annex B: Bibliography
Annex C: Contact Information
Annex D: Photographs
Annex E: Abbreviations and Acronyms


Background to Study

The Africa: Regional Urban Upgrading Initiative, financed in part by a grant from the Norwegian Trust Fund, is examining and selectively supporting urban upgrading programs in Sub-Saharan Africa through a variety of interventions. One component of the initiative focuses on distilling lessons from three decades of urban development and upgrading programs in the region. Specifically, the objective of this component is to assess what worked and what did not work in previous programs for upgrading low-income settlements in Africa, and to identify ways in which interventions aimed at delivering services to the poor can be better designed and targeted.

As a first step, rapid assessment reports were commissioned for five Anglophone countries (Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia) and five Francophone countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal). Each of the ten Country Assessment Reports provides an overview of the history of upgrading programs and policies in a given country and presents project or community specific case studies to identify lessons learned. Taken together, these ten reports offer insight into the nature and diversity of upgrading approaches in Africa and highlight some of the challenges in and lessons learned about delivering services to the poor.


This paper is one of a series of ten country assessment reports. The study was managed by Sumila Gulyani and Sylvie Debomy, under the direction of Alan Carroll, Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic, Jeffrey Racki (Sector Manager, AFTU1) and Letitia Obeng (Sector Manager, AFTU2). Funding was provided by the Norwegian Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (NTF-ESSD) and the Africa Technical Department (AFT). Alicia Casalis and Chris Banes conducted the field work for the five Francophone and five Anglophone countries, respectively, and also prepared the draft reports for each of their five countries. Genevieve Connors provided extensive comments and was responsible for restructuring and finalizing the reports. Nine of the reports were edited by Lisa Van Wagner and the Zambia report was edited by Nita Congress.


Burkina Faso has been implementing different urban upgrading projects and policies since the 1970s in order to find appropriate responses to rapid urban development in unplanned and unserviced areas.

The Cissin Project, started in 1974, was the first upgrading project implemented in Burkina Faso. Cissin was also one of the first urban upgrading pilot projects in all of the West Africa Region, having started prior to the Dalifort project in Senegal and the Nylon project in Cameroon. This project, executed by the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat) UNDP-UNCHS, was considered a success by the Government, and new projects executed by other agencies integrated the methodology and the lessons learned there.

Between 1983 and 1990, the Government implemented a national urban upgrading program during which more than 125,000 plots were regularized. The national housing policy supported the distribution of a large number of plots in order to provide a substantial response to increasing housing demands. However, upgrading initiatives through the development of these “lotissements,” were generally not accompanied by investment in adequate infrastructure.

The current urban development context is strongly marked by these previous policies. New project objectives are to improve urban living conditions by executing priority urban work on infrastructure and services, with the active participation of the urban population and in partnership with local authorities.


1.1 The Country

Burkina Faso, situated at the heart of the Sahel, has very limited rainfall and no coastal access. In 1999, the population was estimated at 11.6 million, with a growth rate of 2.8 percent. Burkina Faso has the lowest level of urbanization of the West African Region. Despite these rural characteristics, Burkina Faso has urbanized very quickly and regularly since its independence in 1960. In 1995 the urbanization rate was 15.9 percent, rising to 18 percent in 1999.

According the Human Development Index (HDI), Burkina Faso is classified at 172 out of the 174 countries listed by UNDP in 2000. Its socio-economic indicators reveal the low level of human development of the country: a life expectancy at birth of 44 years; gross primary school enrollment of 40.5 percent; and a literacy rate of 26 percent. The economic growth between 1995 and 1998 averaged 5 percent per year.

1.2 Urbanization

The population of Ouagadougou, the capital of the country and its largest city, is estimated at 1,100,000 inhabitants. The population of the second largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso, is estimated at 500,000 inhabitants. About 25 percent of the population in these two cities live below the poverty level of 106,249 CFAF (US$150) per year per adult in urban areas. Ouagadougou alone accounts for 50 percent of the total urban population. In addition to Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, the principal towns are Koudougou, Ouahigouya, Kaya, Fada Ngourma, and Banfora.

Altogether, urban centers in Burkina Faso grew at a steady rate of 4.5 percent per year from 1969 to1990, with a higher rate of 8 percent between 1970 and 1980. Burkina Faso, however, is still one of the least urbanized countries of the region, with the urban population at 18 percent versus 40 percent for most of West Africa . The urban growth rate seems to have been on the decline since the beginning of the 1980s; actual urban population growth is estimated at 5 percent per year for the whole country.

Three periods can be delineated in order to analyze the urban development of Burkina Faso.

(1) The first period, 1960 to 1983, can be seen as a continuation of the urban policies initiated during colonial times. During this period, two urban zones were created, the first zone for traditional dwellings for the indigenous low-income population, and the second zone as a residential area for Europeans and African Civil Servants. The basic difference between these two areas was the level of infrastructure, which was limited to the layout of roads for the traditional areas but included paved roads with drainage and electricity for the other residential areas. Since independence, the unplanned areas have grown in the periphery of the towns because of rural immigration.

(2) The second period, 1983-90, began with the Revolution (Révolution d'Août 1983) and the extraordinary measures for improving the urban sector that were set up by the Government. This made way for an “autocratic” urban policy , which broke with the former institutional arrangements, traditional social structures (chef coutumiers), and urban regulations. This was particularly true with the implementation of the Land Tenure Reform Act (Réorganisation Agraire et Foncière, or RAF), which created a national public domain. Land was nationalized, and a strong centralized urban and housing policy was implemented through the Directorate of Urban Planning. The housing policy for this period was based on the provision and distribution of a massive number of lotissements.

(3) Burkina Faso's third period of urban development began in 1990. Since then, the improvement of urban development and housing management, and a decentralization of urban functions, such as the strengthening of technical departments in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, have been supported by the Second and Third Urban Projects of the World Bank. The current economic development context in Burkina Faso is marked by a structural adjustment program, the goal of which is to liberalize the economy and reform public finance management. This was launched by the Government of Burkina Faso in 1991, and supported by the devaluation of the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) franc by 50 percent in January 1994.

1.3 Problems

The result of rapid urban growth is that the peri-urban areas have limited services, and inhabitants of the central areas have increased the demand for existing services and facilities. In expanding areas, most of the roads are unpaved. The current condition for most urban infrastructure is already poor. In addition, the overall quality of life is hampered by difficult access to education, employment, and health services; poor quality housing; insufficient road networks; and inadequate water supply and sanitation and solid waste management services.


2.1 Housing Characteristics and Location

Despite vast inadequacies in service provision, a significant characteristic of Burkina Faso's peri-urban areas is that they do possess regular plots, with most of the streets in a grid pattern with wide roads except in only the most recently settled areas. This is the result of the national lotissement policy of the 1980s. As a further result, in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, about half of the houses are owner-occupied which is a very high level in comparison with other African cities.

Ouagadougou's city center contrasts sharply with the zones of the periphery in the level of infrastructure and services provided. Ouagadougou is divided into 30 sectors, with the 20 sectors of the periphery considered under-equipped. In Bobo-Dioulasso, 17 of the 25 sectors are under-serviced. Some of these sectors have been growing very fast, with a peak rate of between 8 and 9 percent in the past years.

Water supply coverage in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso is about 50 percent. Burkina Faso has limited natural and financial resources and limited distribution capacity. In 1985, an average of only about 22 percent of Ouagadougou households were connected to the water supply system: 49.7 percent in the center; 18.1 percent in planned peripheries; and 0.5 percent in informal settlements. In Ouagadougou, the majority of households have access only to traditional latrines. Because of the limited resources for services in the expanding urban areas, many roads are unpaved and often subject to erosion caused by poor construction and by rainfall.

Almost half of Ouagadougou's dwellings are constructed with mud brick. About 10 percent are constructed with cement block and good quality materials. The rest are constructed with a combination of mud brick, cement block, and plaster. Most housing construction and land development results from individual private initiatives and self-help financed on an informal basis.

2.2 Profile of Low Income Community Residents

More than 70 percent of the stakeholders work in the agricultural sector; about 15 percent work for the administration, and the rest work in commerce and informal artisan activities. The average household size is 6.9 persons.


3.1 Policy Context

Following a succession of short-lived governments, the central state emerged as the dominant actor in the economy during the Revolutionary period of 1983-87. The current Government has been in place since October 1987, and has since steadily moved Burkina Faso towards becoming a representative democracy.

The country embarked on a democratic process in June 1991 with the adoption of a new constitution, followed by multi-party elections for the national assembly and the president in 1992 and 1993 respectively. The first election for the mayors of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso and other urban centers took place in 1995, and then again in 2000.

According to the World Bank’s Urban Environment Project's Staff Appraisal Report, "Within the national government there is a strong sentiment that the country’s centralized administrative system has not been effective in improving living conditions. Nevertheless, municipalities are considered to be in a better position to meet service and investments needs and to contribute to economic development.”

3.2 Institutional Framework

Various government agencies are involved in urban management, mainly the Directorate of Urban Planning and Topography of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Habitat and Urban Planning (MIHU); the Ministry of the Economy and Finances (MEF) (intervenes in land management); and the municipalities, which have the responsibility for land tenure (distribution of urban occupation permits (PUH) and preparing the lotissements) and also provide services and facilities in the urban areas. Their roles were, however, insufficiently clarified after the 1995 decentralization in Burkina Faso, and there are overlapping responsibilities regarding the management of urban plots.

The reform of the Government of Burkina Faso (GOBF) housing policy, attempted in 1991, was not very successful in terms of improving the land delivery system for the urban poor. To respond to the growing demand for plots, the GOBF wanted to replicate the experience of the massive creation of plots. For example, between 1999 and 2000, for Ouagadougou only, 92,000 plots were created but their allocation could not be controlled. After plots were sold at the official low prices, they were often sold at higher prices by the beneficiaries, with some persons obtaining more than the one legal plot. This situation ended up facilitating land speculation.

The local urban planning system relies mainly on the 1984 Land Tenure Reform Act (RAF) and the following three documents:

(a) “Schéma Directeur d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme” (SDAU), the Urban Master Plan, which determines how land will be used and locates construction sites;

(b) “Plan d'Urbanisme de Détail” (PUD), the Detailed Urban Development Plan, which details the different types of interventions in the various areas; and

(c) “Lotissement”, which divides and regularizes the land into plots.

Both Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso have recently benefited from SDAU planning documents.


4.1 Summary of Policy

Urban Upgrading became a national policy in 1983 based on the massive urban land restructuring (lotissements) executed by GOBF. The areas occupied by unplanned settlements diminished rapidly; however, this process was not accompanied by investments in infrastructure, services, and facilities. Because of this experience, the restructuring and regularization of the land is considered a national responsibility while the new donor financed projects focus on the needs for services and infrastructure for poor neighborhoods. With decentralization underway, the civilian population and the local authorities will become partners for the new projects.

4.2 Overview of Initiatives

Cissin: The First Slum Upgrading Project

The first experience in urban upgrading in Burkina Faso was launched in 1974 with the HABITAT Project financed by UNDP. UNDP was the first international organization to intervene in the country in order to improve the quality of life of the urban poor. Cissin, one of the oldest informal settlements of Ouagadougou, was chosen for the project.

The HABITAT Project had two components: Cissin Pilot (53 hectares), a sites-and- services project; and Cissin Slum Upgrading (9 hectares with 250 families), the goal of which was to upgrade while minimizing the destruction of houses during the intervention. For the slum upgrading component, the infrastructure was improved at a basic level: road layouts, collective wells, and a few gutters for drainage were added. The project objectives were the following:

  • test a housing and planning program that could serve as a model for national policies
  • test the use of local materials for housing construction in order to reduce costs and to train local artisans;
  • create a revolving fund for households with lower incomes in order to facilitate their access to loans;
  • create a popular savings bank (“caisse populaire”).

The project introduced the notions of reduced infrastructure standards, community participation, economic and/or physical participation in infrastructure creation, and loans for low-income households. The notion of community participation built on the traditional social structure with the “chef coutumier” as the representative of each neighborhood. The financial participation was minor; however, physical participation in the work was demanded in order to reduce the cost.

The Cissin Slum Upgrading Project was considered by the Government and by UNDP to be a successful slum upgrading project and a new methodology for tackling the gigantic unplanned peri-urban areas of the towns. It was specifically used as an alternative to the sites-and-services approach in order to reduce social and economic costs.

Several evaluations of this experience were carried out at different times. These evaluations were the source of new knowledge about the economic and social impacts of such interventions in urban areas. This is particularly true in Cissin for which the comparison was made between the impact of the sites-and-services projects and slum upgrading projects to demonstrate the advantages of the latter approach to target low-income population needs.

The investigation carried out a few years after the end of the project showed that 50 percent of the original beneficiaries had sold their plots at prices 10 to 50 times the original price, although the number of sellers was lower than in other projects. The regulations require the development of the plot within five years; otherwise, the plot reverts to the Government. In fact, many poor dwellers sold the land because they could not afford to build a house in time. No measures for income improvements were included specifically to integrate the population, most of them rural immigrants (90 percent) or workers in the informal sector. Heavily in debt and with urgent economic needs, the poorest beneficiaries sold their plots and went to settle in the more distant unplanned periphery.

The lessons learned from Cissin were put into practice by other bilateral and international aid agencies, including the Netherlands, the French (executed by A.F.V.P), as well as other GOBF national authorities. In the early 1980s, UNDP used the same methodology in three secondary towns: Gaoua, Fada, and Léo.

Nossin: Urban Development by Phases (Méthode d’Aménagement Progressif)

The Netherlands Government improved the Cissin method and proposed a new approach, called Urban Development by Phases (Aménagement Progressif), which was tested in 1982 (260 plots) and extended over four neighborhoods (30,000 plots). This became the basis of the urban development doctrine for the Democratic and Popular Revolution (RDP) of 1983.

The new component of this approach was the participation of the population from the beginning of the project in discussing technical options, such as the layout of the roads and the plots. Three options were presented to the population, each with a different level of demolition of the houses. The inhabitants chose the more regularly laid-out plots, with wide roads, in spite of the maximum destruction. The inhabitants were in charge of removing the houses and of the freeing up of spaces needed for infrastructure. The plots were delivered first. Then, when the open spaces for the roads were ready, the investments were made with the funds collected from the participants at the following rate: CFAF 25,000 initially plus CFAF 20,000 (US$65 initially plus US$50) by dwelling for plots of 240 square meters.

Two economic advantages were pointed out: first, community participation permitted the population at the lowest income level to rebuild their houses with community help; and, second, the costs of the roads were reduced, a result of the participation in the road building by the inhabitants.

The Urban Development by Phases approach was based on the traditional social structure (chefferie traditionnelle), but the extension of the experience overlapped with the Democratic and Popular Revolution, which replaced the traditional structures with the Committees of the Revolution.

The National Policy of the Lotissements.

The policy of lotissements was implemented between 1983 and 1990. In just two years, the Government distributed three times more plots than those distributed in the past. As a result, the areas occupied by irregular settlements diminished rapidly, particularly in Ouagadougou, where the total planned area rose from 28.6 percent in 1980 to 72.9 percent in 1990. The Directorate of Urban Planning established the guidelines for these new lotissements based on the Master Plan of 1984. The priority recipients for the new plots were the residents and the resettled; with massive population participation in all steps of the upgrading, this process was transparent and land speculation was at this stage controlled.

In 1985, the Urban Environment Project's Staff Appraisal Report reported that "The rigidity of the political regime during the period 1983-1990 allowed this planning system to work. Despite the negative impact on the democratic process, this commanding attitude helped the authorities restructure the then urbanized areas, and master the development of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. Almost all of the development took place in planned lotissements, but was generally not accompanied by adequate infrastructure, especially roads and drainage. Nevertheless, the recent story of urban planning in Burkina-Faso demonstrates that the implementation of an urban policy not only depends on technical tools, but also on the context and the political will.” .

The financial contribution was set at of 300 CFAF per square meter (US$75 per square meter) for an average plot of 250 to 300 square meters, with an initial payment of CFAF 25,000 (US$65) and the rest of the payments to be made over the following five years. The majority of the inhabitants made only the first payment; however, it is estimated that the amount collected covered 70 percent of the cost of the investments.

Tanghin (Sector 3), the Local Economic Development Approach, 1992/1998

This project, which started in 1992, was financed by the French Government (Mission Française de Coopération) and was executed through a French NGO, the A.F.V.P (Association Française des Volontaires du Progrès). It applied an approach developed by the French Cooperation called “project de quartier” (or neighborhood project). Its main objective was to develop a participatory methodology to support social and economic initiatives; and to define an investment program for Tanghin’s local development. Tanghin was one of the planned but underserved poor sectors in Ouagadougou. Its significant number of owner inhabitants had been an important criterion for selecting this neighborhood for the project.

In the first phase, the project engaged in partnerships with civil society; in the second phase, it engaged with the local authorities with the creation by the municipality of districts (arrondissements) in 1994. The participatory methodology that A.F.V.P set up reinforced civil society by ensuring expression of local demand. Some amenities were built. The most important were the multi-cultural complex (Espace Rencontre) and the market.

The financial evaluation of the Tanghin Project conducted by the French Government considered the project expensive; the functioning cost of the NGO as “the social intermediation team” was 39 percent (CFAF 106,612,000; equivalent US$ 380,000) of the total cost of the project CFAF 271,002,000 (US$ 970,000). The social activities were dropped when the A.F.V.P team left Tanghin; no other evaluation has been done to measure the social and economic impacts of the project.

The World Bank Group’s Involvements in Urban Upgrading

The International Development Association (IDA) of The World Bank has helped finance three urban projects in Burkina Faso: the First Urban Project for US$ 8.2 million (technical assistance of US$ 2.7 million) was approved in 1978; the Second Urban Project for US$ 32.2 million was approved in 1989; and the Third Urban Project for US$ 37 million was approved in 1995.

First Urban Development Project

The First Urban Development Project (UDP) was one of the first urban development projects in Africa and the primary intervention of the World Bank in the urban sector in Burkina Faso. Within the MIHU, project units were created in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso to replicate the UNDP scheme on a large scale. Following UNDP’s emphasis on upgrading in the Cissin project, the UDP included a "sites-and-services" component for an area of 50 hectares and an "upgrading informal settlements" component for over 449 hectares (4,700 plots in Ouagadougou and 3,080 plots in Bobo-Dioulasso).

The project was designed to reinforce the Government’s technical capability as well as aid in the provision of municipal services in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. This included low cost improvements to the water supply and drainage for more than 100,000 inhabitants of the two cities. The project adopted a low level for infrastructure, and introduced a cost recovery system for urban services, including for low-income residents.

The World Bank originally wanted to implement the upgrading component with the Urban Development by Phases approach, and establish infrastructure standards according to the stakeholders’ economic capacities. It was anticipated that the rise in inhabitants’ incomes would aid in the improvement of infrastructure.

Prepared in 1976 and signed in 1978, the project started in 1979 and was closed in 1985. From the start, disagreement concerning technical standards caused delays. GOBF's insistence on exaggerated infrastructure norms for informal upgrading areas was an important problem since widening the roads and regularizing the plots made it necessary to demolish an excessive number of homes. As a result and contrary to initial project design, the upgrading area was reduced from 449 to 438 hectares and the area of sites-and-services was actually expanded from 55 to 251 hectares. Also, the average size of the plots grew from the 300 square meters as originally proposed to 375 square meters.

Initially, the price of the plot was estimated at between CFAF 51,600 (US$225) and CFAF 66,180 (US$290), according to the area of the plot (planned range of 240 to 369 square meters). The beneficiary would have to pay monthly fees over five years. However, with the delay in the implementation and the modifications of standards, the cost of the plots rose considerably to an average of CFAF 210,000 (US$925), and the target population moved from the poor to the middle class.

In the period between the end of this First UDP in 1985 and the start of the Second UDP, the GOBF undertook a large development of lotissements for self-help housing in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

Second Urban Development Project

This project launched a reinforcement of the Government’s technical capacity and a sites-and-services program in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. The Second Urban Project became effective in 1990 and was completed in 1996. It was implemented by two ministries, MEF and MIHU. IDA also funded a pilot project in order to test a participatory approach and the willingness of the population to support urban development and services.

The pilot operation, the Study on Institutional Issues in Participatory Development, was implemented in Ouagadougou (District 7) and was used to determine the level of contribution. The pricing method and the active participation of the population were evaluated on the basis of the following:

(i) the potential contributions by the inhabitants and communities for every type of infrastructure (assessment of people's willingness to pay);

(ii) the operational means required; and

(iii) the predisposition or organizational capacities of the population to ensure the maintenance of the infrastructure.

The lessons will be applied in order to develop, in the peri-urban planned/under-equipped neighborhoods, a project to be part of the Community Participation sub-component during the implementation of the Third Urban Project: Urban Environment Project.

4.3 Land and Legal Aspects

The Land Tenure Reform Act (RAF) of 1984 was revised in 1991 and in 1996; the land was nationalized and thus a national public domain was created. Under the RAF, the Government sells land by lotissement and the new neighborhoods are integrated in the planned areas of the town. This process is used for both sites-and-services and informal upgrading projects. The price of the land is 500 CFAF per square meter (US$0.70 per square meter) and the average plot area of 300 per square meter can be purchased at CFAF 150,000 (US$215) on the official market. This official price has been set in order to facilitate the access to land ownership by low-income inhabitants. However, a plot can be sold on the informal market at CFAF 1,000,000 (US$1,430). The existence of this parallel informal market has produced a high level of urban land speculation and the living conditions for the poor have not improved. The Directorate of Urban Planning is in charge of planning and preparing the lotissements, but the municipalities can also distribute urban plots.

The new national policy for 2001 is an effort to stop land speculation, which has flourished in recent years, particularly in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. MIHU plans to set up a housing database with information about the owners of the plots to track the transactions. Legally, individuals have the right to buy only one plot from the land belonging to the State at the official price. The database is expected to improve management of the official land market and help prevent illegal purchases and stymie the growth of a parallel retail market for plots.

Three different documents are needed in the process a household needs to follow to gain land ownership:

  • the urban occupation permit (permis urban d’habiter, PUH). The PUH is the most useful document and is easy to obtain directly from the municipality,
  • the provisory certificate of attribution (L’attestation provisoire d’attribution), which is used in the informal market to sell the plot; it has to be paid in three years and the plot developed in five years,
  • the land title (titre foncier, TF).


The Community Participation Component of the Third Urban Project (PACVU)

A demand-responsive approach characterizes the Community Participation Project, a sub-component of the Bank’s Third Urban Environment Project, (Projet d’Amélioration des Conditions de Vie Urbaines, PACVU). This Project became effective in 1996 and is expected to close at the end of 2001; the initial credit amount was US$37 million, with US$3.4 million for the Community Participation component (9 percent of the total budget). UNDP co-financed this component through the project Institutional Reinforcement (BK/94/006). The project's “demand-responsive approach” for the services and infrastructure programs is to date considered satisfactory by local authorities, the population, UNDP, and the World Bank.

The General Objectives

The project intended to create outreach efforts for public investments and infrastructure, as well as diverse services and facilities, including safe water supply, public lighting, streets, sanitation and hygiene facilities, income generating facilities, schools, markets and dispensaries. The inhabitants were to express their views on such public investments in order to build facilities closer to their needs.

This general objective is supported by three specific objectives:

(i) involve the population in the improvement of their quality of life,

(ii) develop partnerships in the cities among the various actors (administrative and political authorities, private sector, the population),

(iii) strengthen the capacities of the different partners for demand-driven planning.

The Approach

The demand-responsive approach used here is based on requests that are initiated directly by grassroots communities and associations. Financial contributions by the beneficiaries to the investment fund are required to ensure sustainable management of the facilities. The demand-responsive approach is different from the participatory community approach in that the financial participation from the grassroots is clearly defined and must be collected before the start of the project. This approach involves the population in the technical and financial decisions from the very beginning.

Criteria for Selection of Eligible Neighborhoods

The project intervenes by allocating resources to under-serviced neighborhoods. To select the neighborhoods eligible for intervention, the project conducts an urban diagnosis exercise. Values are fixed for each basic service according to its importance (potable water, road, gutter, latrine, public latrine, waterborne, health center, market) ; and a coefficient of value is given: 1, service assured; 2, service non-assured, 3, service non-existent. As a result, 20 of the 30 sectors of Ouagadougou and 17 of 25 sectors of Bobo-Dioulasso were classified as under-serviced and thus targeted as intervention areas for the project.

Modalities of Shared Costs

The cost is shared between the municipalities, the beneficiaries, and the IDA:

  • the municipalities contribute 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the facilities, depending on the type of investment;
  • the beneficiaries also contribute according to the type of investment: for neighborhood facilities, 5 to 10 percent; for social and health, 20 percent; and for income generating facilities, 30 percent;
  • IDA contributes by financing the remaining amount (60 to 80 percent) in the form of loans.

Some parts of the cost were transferred from the community to the municipalities during the implementation of the project because the contributions were very high, especially for roads and gutter digging.

Criteria for Eligibility for the Projects

In order to be eligible, a micro project has to have the following conditions:

  • be a basic service according to the list of infrastructure prepared by the Government and the Project;
  • be situated in one of the sectors qualified as under-equipped: one of the 20 sectors in Ouagadougou or one of the 17 in Bobo-Dioulasso;
  • be built in a public space;
  • be demanded by the community.

Competition Principle

The neighborhoods are put in competition based on the principle that "the first to pay its contribution is the first to be served".

The PACVU acts on behalf of the MIHU through a Coordination Unit and on behalf of the MEF for financial matters. Project implementation was assigned to the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), which established a "Social Intermediation Team” (SIT) responsible for the social marketing of the Project, with the aim of encouraging the emergence of initiatives at the grassroots level and of bringing investment proposals back to the municipalities. The Social Intermediation Team financed by UNDP is working in close collaboration with the municipalities of the two main cities in the country (Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso).

The micro-projects are first approved by the two municipalities, and the constriction of the infrastructure is then assigned to a public works employment agency . The Social Intermediation Team carried out a community campaign of sensitization through diverse activities: meetings; production of radio programs and audio-visual documentaries; publications; theater; and football tournaments.

The Project is under a grant agreement between UNDP and the government
(US$880,000) for funding the Social Intermediation Team under the supervision of the WSP. The Burkina Faso government has signed a credit agreement with the IDA for the funding of infrastructure and educational activities for a total amount of about US$1.5 million. The government contributions cover the salaries of municipal workers and some of the operational costs.

Sources of financing:

The contribution of investment costs paid by the communities, the municipalities, and the government is a condition for the implementation of micro-projects. The funds from the communities and municipalities are deposited in an account (before the starting of the works) opened at the Treasury Department.

The public works employment agency is responsible for sub-contracting the building of the infrastructure to small- and medium-sized enterprises. The micro-projects are grouped in batches for the invitation of tenders; four batches were executed.


  • The implemented projects include 105 micro-projects (72 in Ouagadougou and 33 in Bobo-Dioulasso) for an amount of US$1.3 million. These were co-funded by the communities (12 percent), the municipalities (12 percent), and IDA (76 percent). This total amount of investments in micro-projects is broken down as follows: education (45 percent), health (7 percent), hygiene and sanitation (14 percent), drinking water (8 percent), environment (5 percent), public lighting (15 percent), income generating facilities (3 percent), and roads (3 percent). The average cost of the micro-projects is CFAF 1 million (US$1,700) in Ouagadougou and CFAF 2.8 millions (US$ 4,700) in Bobo-Dioulasso. There is a high demand for small projects, but contributions are limited.
  • According to the PACVU these 105 micro-projects reach out to 26 percent of the population in the two cities (Ouagadougou: 247,610 beneficiaries; Bobo-Dioulasso: 151,200 beneficiaries). An estimated 90 percent of management committees are operational, and 60 percent of the facilities implemented have a maintenance fund.

Financing Aspects

The "Social Intermediation Team" is under contract until September 2001. An extension was requested by UNDP, but the IDA fund available for the investments has been totally employed in the four batches of grouped micro-projects. However, other demands are being presented and more than CFAF 32 million (US$50,000) contributed by the population for new micro-projects has been deposited in the bank and is waiting for complementary financing. An extension of a loan of US$435,700 is being negotiated with IDA in order to bring the necessary complementary financing.

The demand for micro projects is the result of the participation of the community. Since this process is very time consuming and costly in software, initial investments in micro-projects tend not to take place during the first year of the project implementation. Over time, the demand for investments grows rapidly. The evaluation of the projects needs to integrate this delay. The evaluation of the Social Intermediation Team is always linked to the number and amount of investments executed within a period of time. In this project the average time for the community contribution was five months and 17 months for the implementation of micro-projects.

In April 2001, the total project budget was US$2,457,000, out of which 41 percent is investments. It will rise to 50 percent with the extension of an IDA loan for the fifth batch of US$435,700. The cost of the Social Intermediation Team is 34 percent of the total cost of the project. However, the social and economic impact of the social marketing realized by the SIT must be evaluated over the long term.

The Limits of Demand

Some demands could not be satisfied due to the lack of solvency of the target beneficiaries. This indicates the limits of implementing micro-projects with this approach. For example, since public lighting is paid for with deficient funds (funded by taxes), the SONABEL (electricity company) is not interested in developing public lighting projects. This resulted in the number of projects being reduced.

Gutter digging, particularly in Ouagadougou, is considered a general problem and not a local problem. It needs to be solved by adequate trunk infrastructure. The required payment of 30 percent of the total cost for revenue generating projects has limited this kind of project, taking only 3 percent of the total investments rather than the originally estimated 30 percent of the total.

Because of these limits, some criticisms have been leveled at the “demand-responsive approach.” While this approach is adapted to respond to secondary infrastructure demands, nevertheless it can not be a solution for primary trunk infrastructure.

The Participation of Women

One of the principles of the implementation of this project is gender equity and equality in priority intervention in neighborhoods. Women have been participating at different phases of the project; however, they are most interested in income-generating projects, rehabilitation of markets, trash management and collection, small loans, and waterborne sewerage. The required payment of 30 percent of the cost has limited their demands.

The Timeframe

The timeframe between the disbursement of funds and start-up of projects, (five months to organize contribution and 17 months to then achieve the works) was found to be too long, and has undermined people's confidence. This is a constraint that must be overcome. This is especially true in relation to the rules and procedures for contracting by the employment agency. Seventeen months is a very long period to execute micro-projects and this kind of agency was not the appropriate institution to intervene in these activities.


Regularized and Legalized Land Policy

  • By conceiving of the upgrading as a process in phases, the government was able to implement a massive policy of lotissement provision without investments in infrastructure, services, and facilities. This resulted in a rapid reduction of the areas occupied by irregular settlements in the major urban areas in Burkina Faso, an exceptional achievement of the application of upgrading policies in a developing country. Currently, the main urban areas are characterized by a high level of plot ownership in the now planned if under-served urban periphery. This has facilitated the implementation of service delivery projects funded by external donors.
  • The replicability of the lotissement policy seems difficult to implement, even in the same country, within the new political context of market liberalization. The national land policy in Burkina of massive regularization and legalization worked primarily in an era of strong governmental determination.
  • Land speculation is now the main problem to be solved in the upgrading of informal settlements in a free market country with a nationalized land system.

Service Delivery

  • The lotissement policy disassociated between the regularization of land and service delivery. This approach permitted a national upgrading policy to begin without foreign support and with low investments.
  • Maintenance protocols have to be included in the formulation of the project in order to ensure sustainability of the infrastructure through agreements between the municipality and the communities on the one hand, and between the community and the service deliverers on the other.

Community Participation

The demand-responsive approach showed that reinforcing the involvement of local residents, associations, and non-governmental organizations in identification, construction, and maintenance of urban infrastructure is important for the sustainability of the investments. The lesson learned is that the local population can participate in project identification, partial financing, physical contribution, and participation in maintenance programs provided the following exist:

  • specific know-how at the ground level in order to launch and manage the participatory process (social intermediation team);
  • adequate contract management for small investments co-financed by the population in order to avoid administrative delays;
  • suitable procedures for the programming and financing of the investments made.

The rules of participation have to be clear and transparent in order to strengthen the willingness of the communities to make a financial contribution.

Social Intermediation Team

  • A Social Intermediation Team is necessary to implement a demand-responsive or participatory approach. However, there are differences of opinion regarding the total cost, the way that this activity should be evaluated (e.g., cost SIT/ investments), and the legal structure that should support this activity (NGO, semi-official, private enterprise)

Limits of the Demand-Responsive Approach Project

  • The demand-responsive approach is adapted to secondary and tertiary infrastructure (within the neighborhood) that can be implemented with the contribution of the population. However, due to the limits to solvency of the population and many other reasons, this approach cannot be applied for primary trunk infrastructure.
  • Gutter digging micro-projects are often difficult to implement because of the lack of trunk infrastructure (primary drainage). This constraint has to be overcome by strengthening the linkages with infrastructure built by the municipalities.


1. Transfer of the Micro-Projects

Micro-projects are being implemented and the municipalities are the owners of the facilities. Protocols of agreement are, however, being established with the communities so that they might assume the management and maintenance responsibility of the infrastructure in the future.

2. Competency Transfer

Every worker on the advisory team has a counterpart at the city council and also in the team of community development workers. These counterparts were trained throughout the project. There was thus a competency transfer from the project team to the counterparts. It was established from the beginning of the project that, at the end of the process, the counterparts would be called upon to play the roles formerly played by the Social Intermediation Team. This is a possibility that may be more feasible in Bobo-Dioulasso, which has two counterparts working on a full time basis. For Ouagadougou, however, at the end of the project, only one counterpart, working half-time, was involved in the project.

3. The Fifth Batch of Micro-Projects

An extension of a loan of US$435,700 is being negotiated with IDA in order to respond to the already–made demands for a fifth batch of projects.

4. Replicability of the Project

A new project might be possible for the secondary towns to support the decentralization process. Local interest and capacity already exist; replicability depends on the possibility of new funding for investments and for support of the social intermediation team.

5. SIT Future

A feasibility study for creating a Social Intermediation Structure to support the economic development of municipalities is being prepared by the SIT PACVU team. The objective is to assess the feasibility of an autonomous structure (NGO, semi-official, private enterprise) to support the municipalities, and to define the legal form and framework of this structure in order to assure a continuity of work for the team and to preserve the know-how acquired during the implementation of the PACVU project.

Annex A: Country and City Profiles

Annex B: Bibliography

A.F.V.P. Capitalisation d'experience. Projet De Developpement Local Urbain Du Quartier (Secteur 23). Tanghin 1992-1998. Juin 1998.

Appui au Développement des Capacities Locales et des Activites de Base en Environment Urbain. Doc. Project. Dec 1995.

CASEM. Elaboration d'Une Politique Nationale en Matiere d'Habitat et d'Urbanisme. Rapport Introductif a la Session du CASEM - 28 et 29 Septembre 2000. Ministere des Infrastructures, de l'Habitat et de l'Urbanisme. September 2000.

Kiptorne, Gilbert. Rapport D’évaluation Retrospective: Projet Habitat; Une Etude D’évaluation Exhaustive Du Projet 5 Ans Après Sa Realisation. PNUD. Ouagadougou. 1981.

PACOM-GREA. L’animateur dans le Développement Participatif en Milieu Urbain (Cas de la MOS). Dec. 2000. BKF 94/006.

—————. Rapport Sur le Stock de Secteurs Eligibles. Oct. 1997

—————. Regles du Jeu pour la Realization de la Composante Participation Communautaire du Projet d’Amelioration des Conditions de Vie Urbanes a Ouagadougou et Bobo-Dioulasso. Juillet 1997. BKF 94/006.

PNUD. Appui au Développement des Capacités Locales et des Initiatives de Base en Environnement Urbain. Project Document. BKF/94/006. Renforcement Institutionnel. 1996.

Projet de Développement Urbain. Rapport d'Achèvement.- Oct. 1987

Sanou, Fernand. Etude Sur le Développement Participatif au Burkina - La Participation Communautaire aux Projets de Developpement (Urbain). Banque Mondiale. 1994.

Urban Environment Project. Staff Appraisal Report. April 20, 1995

Annex C: Contact Information

Name Organization Position Address/Telephone
CASALIS, Alicia W.B. Consultant Aliciacasalis@cs.com
SANOU, Fernand University- Department of Sociology Professor Fsanou@cenatrin.bf
BP 3436 Ouagadougou 01
TE: 43-0098
KIBTONRE, Gilbert PACVU Former Director TE:38 25 76 / 24 63 78
06 BP 9492 Ouagadougou
KABORE, Seydou Project Community Participation Chief of Project Pdumos@fasonet.bf
TE: (226)35 80 07
MANOU-SAVINA, Annie W.S.P (PEA/AF) Amanousavina@
OUEDRAOGO, Martin Municipality Ouagadougou Deputy Mayor TE: 30 68 16/17
ZANGO, Sibiri Arsène Didier Directorate of Urban Planning and of the Topography Director Dgut_direction@cenatrin.bf
TE: 34 29 92/20 02 27
VAN DIJK, Karine PNUD Karine.vandijk@UNDP.org
LECARPANTIER, François A.F.V.P Regional Delegate afvp.bf@liptinfor.bf
B.P. 947 - Ouagadougou
Tél. : 226 30 70 43
Fax. : 226 31 44 91

Annex D: Photographs

Community Participation Project

Ouagadougou: under-equipped peri-urban neighborhood

Annex E: Abbreviations and Acronyms

A.F.V.P. Association Française des Volontaires du Progrès
(French Association of Volunteers for Progress)
CFAF Communaute Financier Africaine franc
DGUTF Direction Générale de l'Urbanisme et des Travaux Fonciers
(Regional Department of Urban Planning and Land Works)
GOBF Government of Burkina Faso
HDI Human Development Indicator
IDA International Development Association
MEF Ministry of the Economy and Finances
MIHU Ministry of Infrastructure, Habitat and Urban Planning
NTF Norwegian Trust Fund
NGO Non-governmental organization
ONEA Office National de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement
(Water and Sanitation Public Utility)
PACVU Project d'Amélioration des Conditions de Vie Urbaines
(Improve Urban Living Conditions Project)
PEA/AF Programme Eau et Assainisement/Afrique
(Water and Sanitation Program- WSP)
Formerly: Groupe Régional de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (GREA)
PUD Plan d'Urbanisme de Détail
(Urban Development Plan)
PUH Permis urbain d’habiter
(Urban Occupation Permit)
RAF Réorganisation Agraire et Foncière
(Land Tenure Reform Act)
RDP Democratic and Popular Revolution
SDAU Schema Directeur d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme
(Urban Master Plan)
SIT Social Intermediation Team
SONABEL Société Nationale Burkinabé d'Electricité
(Electricity Public Utility)
TF Titre foncier
(Land Title)
UNCHS United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat)
UNDP United Nations Development Program
UUN Urban Upgrading Network
WB World Bank
WSP Water and Sanitation Program